Love Alone is Not Enough
A lot of couples get serious right away due to chemistry and mutual interests and likes. However, if long-term expectations, values and history isn't on the table from the beginning, many couples find themselves breaking up right as they teeter or the edge of long-term commitment.
Unfortunately, the more you know about a person, you can still know absolutely nothing. It's difficult to take the time to truly get to know someone when the next potential partner is a swipe on your screen. However, being aware of the more important things about your partner - IE more than their favorite Chinese Takeout go-to or their dreams of a promotion are key to the future. It’s important that your values align, because when the honeymoon phase in any relationship is over, that's when the real work begins.
Before taking your relationship to the next level, it's a good idea to discuss with your partner things such as:
Statistics show that money is the number one topic that couples argue about and finances, alone, are responsible for almost 40% of divorces. It's important to find out what their debt status is, what their relationship with money consists of and what are their future financial goals. Whether they are frugal or spend every last dime on travel, you need to be on the same page ahead of pooling your finances.
What are your respective 5 and 10 year plans? Are you involved with someone planning to apply to doctorate programs all over the country - or even internationally? Are you looking to quit your job travel, working remotely? Getting on the same page about the future is integral to the success of a long term relationship. Also dreams and bucket lists are a way to bond and form mutual goals for the future.
Family and Culture
Even if partners hail from similar backgrounds, there are still cultural and religious values that you each hold dear. When a relationship starts to get serious, it’s imperative to discuss values — religion, which holidays are most important, if you're going to have children how will you raise them with regard to religion and values? Any cultural differences in the family?
Childhood traumas and familial history play a huge role in a person's ability to deal with the present and any unexpected triggers. It's at this time when it's okay to confide and come clean to your partner.
Any physical or mental health issues in the family?
Ideally, this is one of the first things that should be discussed particularly given the climate we are living in.
Working with a your local matchmaker and hiring a matchmaking service can help in vetting through some of the topics that might make you uncomfortable bringing up. As much as it is uncomfortable, it is important to discuss them to prevent potential issues as the relationship progresses.